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Twitter News: Ending The Hashtag, Turkey Banning Twitter, See Your First Tweet


Twitter has had some interesting things in the news this week.  So let’s talk about some of the things Twitter has done or has already done.  Some of these things are cool while others comes with the “what are they thinking” label.

Twitter Ending Hashtags and At-Replies

This comes from the I can’t believe this is happening category.  Vivian Schiller, head of news at Twitter, gave a speech at the Newspaper Association of America’s mediaXchange conference in Denver.  During the speech, she called hashtags “arcane” and hinted that Twitter might soon move them into the background of the service.  Really, do you know that hashtags are now so integrated into our society that by getting rid of them, you might be killing off Twitter all together?  Twitter is also hinting of ending at-replies as well.  I would like to see Twitter to do something Facebook does already.   And that is when you type in a name, their Twitter account pops up automatically.

I know Twitter wants to gain more users and become more popular like Facebook is, and if they can make the at-reply better so the service is easier, go for it!  But if they decide to end the hashtag, it’s going to mess a lot of people up!  One, most TV shows now feature a hashtag as a part of their on screen branding.  Two, most advertising now features a hashtag that they want people to use.  And three, some TV shows now use hashtags as a part of their show.  If the hashtag went away forever, no more Tonight Show hahstags from Jimmy Fallon!

Hashtags are now so popular every other social media network, including Facebook, are now using them.  So I do not see the reason why Twitter is even thinking about getting rid of the hashtag.  In the United States, there are 54 million active Twitter users and around 241 million users worldwide.  Here is the shocking part, there are around 651 million inactive Twitter accounts!  That means only one in six accounts are active.  For tech savvy people like me, I know how Twitter works and use it everyday to my advantage, otherwise I would not have around 1,450 people following me right now.  Twitter needs to do some things to make the service easier to use for people who are not tech savvy.  But getting rid of the hashtag is suicide for Twitter, don’t do it!

Twitter Country Bans Expand

Today, yet another country has banned Twitter and social media sites because their governments are too corrupt and are afraid people might revolt.  Really, are we in the 21st century anymore?  Or are we still practicing for the next World War?  Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said they had eradicated Twitter.  And for a country that has around 10 million Twitter users, that is bad news!  Turkey actually said that Twitter was the beginning of electioneering?  And soon, Turkey began a Twitter ban, and some reports say that Facebook is banned too.

The prime minster also said on a TV interview that they won’t let the citizens of Turkey be sacrificed to YouTube and Facebook.  He actually claimed that these social media sites incite any kind of immorality or espionage for the profit of these institutions.  Wow, there are some crazy people running the country of Turkey.  The Turkish Government now believes that social media encourages people to start protests.  And if social media was banned, protests can’t happen.  No, I believe the reason why Turkey has banned social media is because they don’t want the citizens to know that something very wrong is up.

Face it, every time some country decides to censor the web.  It’s usually connected to something that ends up being on the world news a short time later.  So if Turkey is banning Twitter, I believe something big is going to happen soon in Turkey, and we will hear about it on CNN.  For people living or visiting Turkey, there are some ways to get around this Twitter blockage.  One, there is a Wikileaks forum showing people how to get around the blockage.  And two, Twitter has already posted this message showing people how to still put up a Tweet with their mobile phones.  It’s sad that countries still censors the web and people’s free speech.

Discover Your First Tweet

Twitter has rolled out a new feature for its 8th birthday where anyone can discover what their first tweet was, and what date a person’s first tweet was as well.  For some people on Twitter, you have to go back through 10’s of thousands of tweets to find what their first tweet was.  And I am happy that Twitter has come out with this great feature!  For example, here is my first tweet.

If you are on Twitter, or if you want to find what your favorite celebrity or famous person’s first tweet was, click on the link below, and enter a Twitter username!

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